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people in general

Now I don't want to start sweeping any generalisations, and on the whole, I like the Americans, but I just wondered if any of you have noticed the Amercian "Hey, this is MY terridory, BUDDY" mentality when it comes to coffeeshop seating... The best example I gave of this was in the Rokerij, where, if you havn't been, the seating and tables are all very low, like a kind of japanese sushi resturant, if you will. Now then, the place was about 3/4 full, plenty of space left, so four of us got our drinks and then suddnely, THUMP THUMP THUMP! I thought it was some unexploded bombs going off but no! some like, radical skater dudes man, had like, come in YO! and just like, dumped thier big heavy rucksacks down and like, you know, just like spread themselves all over the place, like WAY dude.

Being English, as if you couldn't tell, I sort of stood there, and indicated that I'd like them to just move up a bit and give us a seat by using the international body language way of shifting my feet around, and waiting. I was soundly ignored. Trying again to make myself and my friends some seating room, I asked "could you move your bags up a bit, so we can get in?" to which I was again, very clearly, and very seriously ignored...

The outcomes of this little monologue are HILARIOUS, I can tell you, but the point I'm trying to make is that in every coffeeshop, bar or restuarant I have ever been to in Amsterdam, the Dutch, French, British and EVEN the GERMANS will all make a bit of room for you to sit down. I'm expecting some flak for this, I don't care, but next time this happens to you, just do what I did in the rokerij; Sit down on one of the too-cool-for-you type dudes' rucksacks. Very comfy, and very highly entertaining as you watch them trying to ignore a 14 stone man sat on thier rucksacks.
Well you have made a sweeping generlisation but one that may have some truth to it. Before my first trip tp A'dam (I had never been to Europe before) Scoob and I did some serious research. One of the things we were told was that in A'dam, people (strangers to me and you) will share tables if there isn't any room. Now I must admit at first I thought this strange because I like my personal space but I figured "when in Rome...." We did in fact share seats with many people and it was a good expierience for us - we have even done it back at home (though most people don't take us up on the offer:)

We are not all "rude" in America - not at all. Are some of us - most definatley and sometimes I want to beat people that are:) Actually in my very limited travels I found that people, no matter where they come from, can be rude and ignorant. I have met rude French, English, Japenese (worst - maybe b/c I am a woman) but it never made me have a thought that all of the people from those places are rude - it's the small amount that make a bad name for the rest... are all English soccer hooligans? I highly doubt it:)

Bazmeister - you obviuosly have not gotten the "Get the hell outta my way" American stare down pat yet - work on it and you will be fine. Or you can always do what you did but instead of just sitting on their bags start moaning and groaning like you are really enjoying it:) Trust me - they will move.......
The fact is, on my visits to the States, restuarants (whether it be McD or a high class) have lots of space, and lots of tables. Its quite common to see a couple at a table for 4 etc.

But, in 'dam everything is smaller and compact and you have to share. I guess its just what you are used to.

If I was out for a romantic meal with the Mrs, I would think twice about going to a place where you might share a table with another person/couple, but for everything else, its cool.

Its how you meet interesting people.
Some Bozo is right.....Everything in the US is much bigger. In a resturant we frequent, it is not uncommon for us (confuzn and myself) to get a booth that could easily seat 6 for just the 2 of us.

But, when I am in Amsterdam, I understand things are much smaller, and I have to be much more patient. Its not uncommon for us to share an "area" with a fellow smoker in a coffeeshop. Hell, that's the best way to meet people. I could tell some stories about people we met, just by sharing a table. So.....not all American's are loud stoners who are rude. Although I know what you are talking about since I live in it every day. Don't let one bad apple spoil it for you!

Just my 2 grams.

There are selfish, inconsiderate jackasses everywhere, I'm afraid. If you take 4 American skater dudes to represent American behaviour, then surely the American reputation will take a HUGE hit. After all, as was said before, we know that not all Brits are hooligans.
Im glad you at least said you didn't want to generalize americans, but you know what? I HAVE encountered these types of people, but online in America. It's true that we're not all alike, but when it comes to consideration many americans fall victim to rude behavior.

Now I for one would have tried to take up as little space as possible, and offered you a seat, and probably would have started a delightful conversation with you. Too many Americans don't give a shit about anyone except themselves. Think about how I feel sitting in a lecture with some big bastard sitting next to me squeezing me out so i can barely take notes. ah...i'm getting off the point here...

I guess you met a bad crowd, and since you said they were skater punks I'm not suprised. You have to act american to get their attention, call them a fuggin jaggoff or something. You just happened to meet a group of unintelligent nobodies from the states. All too common of a thing, even at a university level.

Meet up with some of the americans on this board and you'll have the time of your life. Insightful people is what you need to make you feel more at home in a coffeeshop. Just consider the fact that they were rude punk fucks who don't give a damn about anyone but themselves, and these people are all over the world.

Wow! Not the kind of feedback I like to hear about Americans in coffeeshops.......I guess there are dicks everywhere. I would welcome anyone from anywhere to share a table with me in a coffeshop. It's called being polite.
LOL! You know in the above situation I'd move, but the direction may be closer to you and not farther away!

Seems to me that those of us from the U.S. do tend to have larger personal spaces. That can lead to unconscious behavior that people without the same kind of space needs find rude. However, every culture has it's own set of assumptions/needs that other cultures will find rude. The object, of the savy traveler, ought to be to find out how the locals do it, and fit in while preserving their own morals and the like. Or so it seems to me.

Americans are used to much bigger spaces... that was a good point but that still doesn't excuse bad behavior. Basically it comes down to respecting each other. Unfortunately, people all over the world, not just Americans, do not respect each other enough. That is part of the problem we have in the world today... If only we could all just take a toke and love one another:)
... Think about how I feel sitting in a lecture with some big bastard sitting next to me squeezing me out so i can barely take notes. ah...i'm getting off the point here...

As a "big bastard" I take offense, LOL. I agree that every culture has it's flaws. There are things that are vastly different, between America and Europe, e.g. non lesbian women walking arm in arm, rarely happens in the US. If it is any consolation, those "dudes" are every bit as rude at home. As a big bastard, I am a bit self concious and so I try very hard to be polite (actually that is just the way I was raised) and to share. I also love to converse with new people and when I am visiting a country I love to talk to "locals". Using those rude guys to describe "Americans" is like some of the other generalizations I have seen on this forum like "all Americans only come to Holland to sit in coffeeshops" etc. You can visit my web site to see that that isn't true.
"fuggin jaggoff"

Are you from Pittsburgh, Progress?
jaggoff is very chicago as well...
I was just trying to sound "american"
I'm from all over america so i've heard a few local dialects. I guess I was thinking New York when i said fuggin jaggoff, but I've never been to NYC so I can't say for sure...definitely Boston ("baastin") though.
I was just trying to sound "american"
I'm from all over america so i've heard a few local dialects. I guess I was thinking New York when i said fuggin jaggoff, but I've never been to NYC so I can't say for sure...definitely Boston ("baastin") though.

Can you say "park your car in Harvard yard" ?
Sorry Progess.... us Bostonians do not say "fuggin jackoff" .... we have a much more colerful vocab :)
ok ok, forget i ever said "fuggin jaggoff"
i dont know too many bostonians, but i'd be curious to hear this colorful vocabulary you speak of...
In boston we would have called the guy "a wicked big aaass hole". Boston speak is "wicked pissah".

you and your wife hit the nail on the head with this one. I have lived in Boston for the past 3 years now, and I still get a kick out of the accent.

I live in Quincy, MA myself with my girl.

I would definitely like to speak with you a little further about your trip to AMS (I will be there for the first time march 29th). and the type of cheeba you can score in MA. I have got a pretty reliable connect myself, but wouldn't mind being introduced to someone new. and you seem pretty chill from reading your several posts on this board
Don't forget pissah can also be favorable..as in "that's pissah"
As a 35 year old American, I have to say the next generation of kids (18-25) can be RUDE.... It's a problem over here as well. I've been on other message boards that discussed it.
BigNew - where are you originally from? Scoob and I have lived in Boston our whole lives... I still find it funny when peple say "we talk funny" :)
my girlfriend and I are originally from New Jersey. I moved up to Boston almost 3 years ago now. "Wicked" cool city. : )
My first job up here was for John Hancock, I believe it was in the Charlestown area. right next door to Sommerville.
I knew someone that worked for JH in that building - small world! Enjoy the board - everyone has been more than helpful to us in the past few years!
this is a very small world indeed.

I was also wondering if you could possibly give me some insight on the person that you and your husband go to in the greater boston area. I would certainly like a second option if at all possible.
BigNew - R U Crazy??!!!! LOLOLOL - sorry - no can do :)
Completely understandable. Was just seeing how far I could stretch things. : )
Speaking as a New Yorker, I think I would have opted for a nice resounding "Hey....Asshole!!!" But, as a New Yorker in Amsterdam, I think I would have just sat on the jerk's backpack.

Seriously, this behavior was not acceptable and I am sorry that you had to witness the ignorant actions of these Hipster Dufuses. I would like to hope they are the minority of American Tourists. Well I can dream anyway. :-))
The are two kinds of people in the world, cool (decent)or jerkoffs (rude),
however the americans might have a higher percentage of jerkoffs, I can safely say we don't have a monopoly. I here the French can give us a run for our money.

In a situation like yours you could ingnore these shmucks or confront them. If you are getting stoned you I don't think need the hassle. However you might want to grow a set and speak up for yourself and not complain about americans after the fact. It could just as easily been a group of lager louts.

So don't stress it and smoke a fatie or tell the jerkoffs to move next time and move their shit and sit down.
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